Can We Get an Independent Evaluation by an
When the school evaluated my child, the evaluator overlooked or minimized several areas and did not make specific recommendations about services. We requested an independent evaluation. The school said we have to use an evaluator from their "approved list." Is this true? How independent is an evaluator who has been 'approved' by the school?
No, but you don't want to start WWW III over this issue. You want to get a comprehensive evaluation of your child by an evaluator of your choice.
In How to Compromise with Your School District Without Compromising Your Child, parent attorney Gary Mayerson (who represented the family in Zachary Deal v. Hamilton County TN and other cases) describes a strategy that parents can use to get an independent evaluation by an evaluator of their choice.
Mr. Mayerson suggests that parents write a letter to the school that says:
/ we are not satisfied with the [recent - add date] evaluation
performed by the
In light of this, we are requesting that the district agree to pay for an independent evaluation of our [son/daughter] by [name of provider] who is a private [child psychologist / speech language pathologist / neuropsychologist / other ] located at [address] The anticipated cost of this evaluation is $____.
advise if the district will pay for this independent evaluation
which we consider to be essential. If the district refuses to
pay or fails to advise of approval within 30 days, we reserve
the right to secure and pay for the requested independent evaluation.
If we have to go that route, we will have no choice but to request
that the district reimburse us. Please
Mayerson suggests another strategy for parents to use when the
school says they must select an evaluator from the school's "approved
In How to Compromise
with Your School District Without Compromising Your Child,
Mr. Mayerson provides many useful strategies that parents can
use to get services. Mr. Mayerson's book is available from Amazon.com and other online
bookstores. You will also find a link to this book in the Wrightslaw Advocate's Bookstore.
Independent Education Evaluations: What? How? Why? Who Pays? - Parents and school personnel are often confused about what constitutes an independent educational evaluation (IEE) and how the evaluation is to be used. In this article, parent attorney Wayne Steedman describes independent educational evaluations and their value, what the law requires of school districts, and who is financially responsible.
Last revised: 10/22/12